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12/30/2003
Hudson Valley Community College Student Receives $5,000 Scholarship to Study Overseas

CONTACT: Janine Kava (518) 629-8071 or (518) 629-8085
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, December 30, 2003

Samantha HenriksonHudson Valley Community College Individual Studies student Samantha Henrikson is part of a select group of students nationwide who will receive a $5,000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the spring 2004 semester.

Henrikson, of Selkirk, is one of only 173 college students in the country to receive the scholarship, and she is the first student in Hudson Valley's history to receive the award. The scholarship is based on need; students who receive federal Pell grants for the education are eligible to apply for the award, which can pay for any educational expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books, and airfare.

The scholarship, which is offered through the federal State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is administered by the Institute of International Education, the same organization that administers the federal Fulbright Scholars program.

The 19-year-old Henrikson, who will graduate from Hudson Valley in May 2004, will use the scholarship to study communications, including film, photography and screenwriting, at Bond University on Australia's Gold Coast. The study abroad program is made possible through Hudson Valley's affiliation with the College Consortium of International Studies. She is a graduate of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School.

"I was ecstatic," said Henrikson, describing her reaction when she received news of the scholarship. "I was so excited. I told everyone."

Because of her outstanding academic achievement and involvement in student activities, Henrikson was encouraged to apply for the award by Amy A. Gumaer, director of International Programs at Hudson Valley.

A member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Henrikson has a 4.0 grade point average and also is vice president of the college's Foreign Language and Culture Club. She plans to continue her education at a four-year college after graduating from Hudson Valley, and is leaning toward a career in screen or script writing.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 50 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has graduated more than 55,000 students.